A youthful breeze flows in the Indian Women’s National Team

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AIFF Media Team


NEW DELHI: Experience fused with exuberance of youth is perhaps a perfect recipe for any Team across all Sports. While the Indian Senior Women’s National Team boasts of experienced Players like Bembem Devi, Bala Devi and Sasmita Malik, a pinch of youth has been added by young Players such as Dalima Chibber, Sanju and Pyari Xaxa to the squad, whose average age is just under 24.


In a quest to harvest the youth of Women’s Football India whilst providing them with experience and evolution as Players in a competitive environment, Head Coach of the Indian Women, Sajid Dar included 5 U-19 Players – Pyari Xaxa, Dalima Chibber, Sanju, Panthoi Chanu, Sangita Basfore – in his squad for the 12th South Asian Games.


And, Dalima and Sanju did even make their debuts against Maldives.


Talking exclusively to www.the-aiff.com Sajid Dar explained the importance of inclusion of young Players in the National Team setup. “Young Players are like raw diamonds which you have to polish through exposure in competitive environment to make them finished products.”


“Every Player is important in any National Team setup. However, it is the youth who are responsible to continue the legacy of the National Team by learning from their mentors in the National Camps.”


“The notion behind choosing young Players (in the final 20 member squad) was to give them exposure as they have the dexterity in them to become some of the best Players in India,” Sajid added.


Complementing the youth in the Women’s Squad, the legendary Bembem Devi quipped: “They are always eager to learn and that is something which takes a Football Player a long way.”


“Football is game which is learnt both on and off the pitch and the young Players have already shown their passion towards it. However, they still have a long way to go.”


Sticking to his words to promote youth, Sajid Dar gave debuts to Dalima Chibber and Sanju in India’s 0-0 draw against Maldives on February 05, 2016.


For Dalima it was like a date with destiny. “It was like a dream come true,” says Dalima in retrospect. “Playing for the Senior Team for the first time was an emotional and incredible experience for me.”


“The minute the National Anthem played I got goose-bumps and experience such as that can hardly be put into words.”


“I never thought I would be able to brush shoulder against the likes of Bem-di (Bembem Devi), Aditi-di and Bala-di, but here I was yesterday doing just that.”


After a brief pause she adds: “I still cannot get over that.”


Sanju, who came on as a second half substitute for Prameshwori Devi at half-time was “overwhelmed by the gravity of the moment.”


“It was a bitter-sweet experience. I was happy to make my debut, but at the same time saddened by the draw. My dreams came true when Coach told me to replace Pam-di (Parameshwori Devi).”


Women’s Football in India is on an upward surge with the help of the Woman oriented projects that the AIFF has initiated in recent times. The inclusion of as many as 5 Players in the National Team setup is nothing short of a statement, that the best is yet to come.

Posted on : Saturday February 06, 2016